Daoud Abudiab walked through the ashes of the Islamic Center of Columbia on Monday and gave thanks that the three men blamed for destroying the mosque were behind bars.

“They have proven that they are a danger to our community,” he said. “They do not need to be roaming the streets.”

Jonathan Stone, 19, Michael Golden, 23, and Eric Baker, 32, were arraigned Monday in connection with the fire that broke out at the mosque early Saturday morning.

Mike Bottoms, district attorney general for Maury County, said that the three face state arson charges and that other charges are likely to be brought.

“It’s an enhanced arson because it was a house of worship,” he said. “We anticipate there will be additional charges.”

Bottoms praised “a terrific effort by local, state and federal authorities” for the rapid arrests.

Seventy investigators from the Columbia Police Department, fire department, and fire marshal’s office worked with Tennessee State Bomb and Arson Section, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives on the case.

An attack on a house of worship, Bottoms said, “is something we cannot tolerate.” (MORE)


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